Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Earth shattering find in Africa

13.01.2005


The African continent is slowly being pulled apart and new data collected by University of Leeds and Royal Holloway, University of London researchers suggests that molten rock from deep within the Earth is helping the rifting. Their findings, which help explain how continents split apart, are published in Nature this week.



Ethiopia sits on a boundary where a tectonic plate is being split into two and over several million years a new ocean basin is forming. The movement of plates on the Earth’s surface alone does not provide enough force to cause the rift seen in Ethiopia. Measurements of sub-surface waves and geological information show that molten rock - magma - rising through the Earth’s outer layers is reducing the strength of the plate, enabling it to break apart.

Geophysicists led by University of Leeds Professor Michael Kendall studied seismic waves as they passed through the Earth’s upper mantle over a 16 month experiment in Ethiopia. As the waves hit different materials their properties change. The recorded wave patterns indicate the presence of thin sheet-like upwellings of molten rock.


Professor Kendall said: "This is the largest experiment of its kind ever done in Africa. It is revealing answers to long-standing mysteries about continental plates and how they split apart to form new ocean basins.’’

Royal Holloway co-author Professor Cindy Ebinger added: "Scientists have previously proposed that magma may play a significant role in weakening continental plates, but this is the first supporting evidence from an active rift zone.”

Professor Kendall said: "We have found the signature of the melting process throughout the plate. The analysis also confirms the importance of magmatism, not just plate stretching, in creating rifts."

Hannah Love | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk
http://www.nature.com

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA eyes Pineapple Express soaking California
24.02.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht 'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field
23.02.2017 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>